Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Film Review: APRIL FOOL'S DAY (1986, Fred Walton)
Stars: 3 of 5.
Running Time: 89 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Deborah Foreman, Mike Nomad, Ken Olandt.
Tag-lines: "Guess who's going to be the life of the party?" AND "Last one out's... a goner."
Best one-liner: See review, I guess.
Fairly typical 80's slasher with strong island manor atmosphere, Agatha Christie inspiration, less gore and more suspense, an abundance of head-scratching sexual innuendo involving junk food pastries (Twinkies, Ding-Dongs, etc.), and plenty of inanity ("When I was out there swinging in the woods, I nearly crapped my pants." "What do you mean, 'nearly?' Arch? You browned your trou?"). This entry in the then-burgeoning 'holiday slasher' subgenre came from director Fred Walton (WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, WHEN A STRANGER CALLS BACK, THE ROSARY MURDERS), and has some vague 80's horror street cred by casting Deborah Foreman (WAXWORK), Mike Nomad (JASON 6), and Amy Steel (the likable Ginny in JASON 2). The main plot thrust involves a group of friends on an isolated weekend birthday excursion who start turning up dead. Or perhaps it's all merely an elaborate April Fool's Day prank. Or maybe they really are dead. No, seriously, though, it's just a prank. Or maybe not. It's pretty enjoyable, but lacks the extra 'hoo boy' spit-take factor films like MURDER ROCK or GHOULIES readily provide, the skilled hilarity of something well-written like DEAD HEAT, or the sheer class of something like HALLOWEEN or PHANTASM. Three stars. Or, you know what? Maybe four stars, just based on the April Fool's prank at the beginning of the trailer, here: